freezer meal prep

Freezer Cooking Made Simple A Year later

Freezer Cooking Made Simple

– My Review of Once A Month meals – 1 year later.

 

I’ve been using my Once A Month Meals membership to stock our freezer for a year now!! And still absolutely LOVE it!


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I started looking into a membership when I was new to the Instant Pot and wanted to find more ways to use it, You can read my first review here!

But, you don’t even need an Instant Pot to take advantage of the amazing resources from Once A Month Meals

 

Here’s a list of the cook types for the cooking day and the serving day:

freezer cooking prep list

once a month meals cooking

 

 

 

 

Now, every month I make 20-30 dinners for our freezer. Plus, some lunches and breakfasts too!

Once A Month Meals has been adding new features, tons of new recipes, and special menus so membership just keeps getting better!

Here is just a few of their new menus:

Winter Real Food Freezer Menu

Winter Gluten Free Dairy Free Menu

Instant Pot Winter (Whole 30 Compliant) Easy Assembly Menu

Paleo Freezer Meal ( Whole 30 Compliant) volume 13

Fall Instant Pot Easy Assembly Mini Menu

 

You can check out all of these amazing menu options:

 

freezer cooking made simple

 

 

 

 

I know I’ve said this before, But the resources available to you as a member with Once  A Month Meals are outstanding!  In fact I do not hesitate to say that I would have never attempted freezer cooking for a whole month with out them!

You get these awesome customizable Menus that have been masterly crafted to consider time, effort, cost etc. (you select how many servings each meal makes too!)

You can easily swap recipes that do not appeal to you or even just build your own menu from the many recipes listed.

You get a detailed Grocery Shopping List (we are talking down to the ounces people!!)

The Prep list takes all the guessing out of what to do with all those groceries once you are home. And then the Cooking Day Instructions give you a step by step guide to stock your freezer!

Labels are at the ready for your bags or containers before you stick them in the freezer ( these labels even have the serving day instructions right on them!)

The Thaw Sheet is so handy ( I keep mine in my household planner binder) for deciding what to pull out of the freezer each night! Only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table?? well, then grab these Enchilada Meatballs, and have dinner from freezer to table in 20 minutes!!!

And Recipe Cards for every recipe in your menu.

 

Seriously, Once A Month Meals has CHANGED how I do dinner! In fact I have stopped in the middle of writing this post to plop in our dinner from the freezer and in just about 1 hours time, our dinner is almost ready and I’ll pack away this computer and we can sit down to eat… just like that!

We are having Granny’s Italian beef tonight with mashed potatoes!

 

 

I just bought these baggy openers from Amazon.. They are super handy!!

Amazon baggie holder freezer cooking made simple

Here are some great tools for prepping and freezer your meals:

Those 64 oz containers are the perfect size to freeze meals for the Instant Pot…  So the food fits perfectly inside the liner of your Pot.

And don’t forget to use Wal-Mart’s free grocery Pick up to get your groceries for the month! Here’s $10 off your first order and my review of the free service, we actually use it weekly!

Have you ever prepared freezer meals before? What’s the most intimidating part of the process for you?

 

Cooking once for the whole month. Take 2!

Its February!  yay! We have less than a month until our due date! And boy am I feeling pregnant these days!! Can’t wait to meet this growing boy and to be done being pregnant! haha It’s truly amazing what our bodies can do, and being a part of this miracle is incredible!

 

I loved not cooking last month! I had a freezer stocked of 30 meals and didn’t have to worry about much when it came time to getting food on the table each night. No matter how busy we were or tired I was!

 

So, we did it again for this month! This time I chose to create my own menu from scratch, searching through so many wonderful recipes at Once a Month Meals! I mixed it up with different serving day options, mostly using my Instant Pot but also my oven!

I love how easy it is to find recipes your family will enjoy, and customize them for your family size!

 

This time along with the 30 meals for us, I also made a few dinners for my parent’s freezer and selected a few different recipes for lunches for myself. (Pizza stuffed sweet potatoes, turkey zucchini boats, and marinated chicken thighs, yum!)

 

I won’t deny that it was a lot of work and at the end of the day this time, I began to feel like I over did it… (at this point just trying to walk and breath is a workout though! ) AND the truly awesome thing is now I’m done cooking for a while and providing dinner for my family each night involves very minimal effort and hardly any mess! In fact looking at our schedule we will probably stretch these meals out through March as well!

 

I wanted to show you a few of the details and lists that I love about Once A Month Meals and why I wouldn’t do this without their wonderful help!

Read More

Walmart Grocery – What I Think After A Month

Walmart Grocery Pickup

 

We started using the new service at Walmart a little over a month ago. And not to sound dramatic BUT it has changed everything about grocery shopping for our family!

 

How Our Family Uses This Service

I place an order through Walmart Grocery Pick up once a week! I still do a monthly stop by Winco Foods bulk section for the staples like flour, sugar, etc. And Monthly Sam’s club trip for our big things. But as for our weekly needs like produce, bread, snacks, breakfast, and other meal items. It’s all been coming from Walmart and I haven’t had to step inside a Walmart store in a long time! (insert happy dance here)

 

We have discovered (at least for our area) same-day order/pick up doesn’t work. Because they are just so busy, in fact one of the workers told Ryan they have had up to 70 orders in a day!!

So, I place my order the night before I want to reserve a pick up time and I’ve never had a hard time getting the time I want.

Because I can fill my cart anytime on the app I usually have a few items in there all the time. When I’m standing in the kitchen and we use up the last piece of foil, or Ryan is digging in the fridge and says, we are out of lunch meat.. Instead of writing it on a list somewhere, I just put it in the cart on the app and it’s there, ready for when I complete my order.

We have been reserving to pick up between 5-6pm and it’s works out so great for us. Ryan gets off at 5 and then heads over to pick up the order. We usually choose to have our own bags in the trunk and the workers just put all the groceries in them right there at the car.

What happens when Walmart is out of an item you have ordered?

Read More

Once A Month Meals!

Once A Month Meals

Freezer cooking with menu planning help!

 


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Have you ever prepared freezer meals for your family? It’s the process of preparing and cooking up a bunch of meals all at once and then freezing for a later time. It is really nice to have meals already prepared and ready to go when you are in a rush or the day has been crazy!

I’ve done freezer meal prep in the past for a few recipes. Usually, I just pick a few meals for either the crock pot or the oven and buy all the supplies to make them. Then I would spend the day making them all and sticking them in your freezer.  The mess and work all happens at one time and then done.

It does take some planning and it is work! But I think it can be really worth it. And you can add fun to it by inviting a friend to do it with you! I especially start thinking about this kind of prep right before a new baby arrives… since dinner time can be very unpredictable.

 

Recently I discovered a website called Once a Month Meals. They take this freezer prep/cooking idea to the max. I was instantly impressed by the organization and customization they provide.  I have signed up for meal planning help in the past and the only bummer I found in the ones I’ve tried is that you are kind of stuck with recipes your family doesn’t like.. no fun there!  With Once A Month Meals you can pick from their 6000+ recipes and substitute them into your plan And nothing else I have seen has been anywhere close to this! Read More

toys toys toys and how we organize the chaos

Toys toys toys
boys and toysIf you have young kids then you know that toys can very easily take over your life!
Especially when birthdays and Christmas come around!! We love that our boys get fun new things and that they have family and friends that love on them! 🙂 But this lady quickly became overwhelmed by the mess!!

Since I know that we can’t be the only ones, I thought I’d share the method that has worked for us. It may not be what works for everyone but if you need to try something new, give it a shot!!


This Post May Contain Affiliate links. Purchasing through them may result in compensation with no added cost to you.

 

So, with so many toys we started with trying the fabric cubes in a bookcase idea… something similar to this.

I even made labels with pictures of the different kinds of toys. I like the idea that it would look cute, organized and still be accessible to the boys. This simply did not work for us. at all!

First of all , not all our toys fit in these cute little bins. labels were ripped off and toys still seemed to all be dumped, every. single. day. So, the chaos continued. (we now use this bookcase and bins for the boys clothes in their closet and it works really well for that!)

I will say that this method works for some people. especially if you have one child, who is still young and just now getting into toys.

So, we moved everything to big plastic tubs. This way our whole collections of trains, blocks, cars whatever will fit in the same tub and has a lid!!

Still, having them in the play room meant that there were days that every bin was emptied… even if we tried the idea ” you have to put away one before you get the other one out. ” thing.
bonus points to you if you monitor your kids play time that well! 🙂

Eventually what I decided to do seemed drastic, but it works so well for us!!

ALL of the tubs of toys found a place in the garage. Every one of them!!
The boys know that they get 1 or 2 tubs into the house at a time. When they are ready for something else, we pack them away and get another one from the garage! Usually it’s trains and cars that stay in the house but everyone once in a while William will remember a certain toy and will ask where it is, so we switch them out!

This has brought a ton of peace to our play room! It’s so much easier to clean up when everything goes into the same tub! And I realized the boys weren’t even able to really play when they had so many toys surrounding them!
Also, right before Christmas I will put EVERYTHING in the garage so they can really enjoy the new things they get! And both our boys birthdays are soon after Christmas so we’ll probably spend a few months just exploring our presents! 🙂

I hope this helps if you haven’t found what works for your house!

 

I would love something like this for in the garage (as of now they are just stacked up on the side) but maybe some day 😉  (for now it will stay on the forever growing honey do-list)

Preparing for summer vacations?

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It’s vacation season!! yay!

We haven’t done much vacationing as a family yet so there are some items we just need to invest in for this and  future trips..Just in case you need to upgrade some traveling “necessities” here’s a fun handy list!

sleeping bags (or I guess their new name is “slumber bags”? weird)

Suite case organization?? yes please!

 

Amazon.com

 

I just think those are so awesome!

For the kids suitcases I decided to try this idea… and I’m kind of in love with this plan!!

kids suitcase

Each bag has a shirt, pants, and either a diaper or undies (depending on child) for the day!

kids luggage

 

then because we are talking about the children there is an “extras” bag for each.

packing the kids

 

I am really excited to try this on our next trip, I really think it will eliminate some of the unorganized frustration of living out of a suitcase for a few days! AND a big plus will be if anyone wants to help me get boys dressed during the day it will be easy for anyone to find what they need! 🙂

need suite cases? Amazon has some great options!

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

These pinterest ideas for organization are Ah-mazing!!

 

free-printable-vacation-lis

 

packing list/outfit planner

 

 

I just love lists!! These help me keep all my thoughts in one place as I think about all the things each person needs!

And this probably goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways 🙂 It’s always a good idea to check local weather at your destination before you pack!

 

And if you don’t have a vacation planned yet, Don’t forget about Groupon Getaways!


Groupon Getaways

Whatever you do this summer, wherever you go, I hope you stay safe, have fun, and make memories!

 

Yay for summer family time!